In his three title defenses, Jon Jones has shown all the brilliance of Silva with none of the goofy antics; when it comes time to defend the belt, "Bones" is all business, and you do not want to be on the business end of his attacks.
First, Jones drew Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, a powerful boxer with solid wrestling skills.
He was no match at all for the young phenom. In fact, when I recall this fight, I feel like Jones held Rampage's head and kept him at bay in true "bully vs. school nerd" fashion; it was that bad.
Rampage mounted no offense in this fight, and Jones toyed with him until he decided the fourth round was a nice time for a stoppage. He took Rampage down with ease, sunk in the rear-naked choke, and his first title defense was over.
Things would not be so easy for Jones in his second outing, though, as he took on the darting Lyoto Machida.
Machida used his world-class counter striking and footwork to steal Round 1 from Jones, even staggering the champion at one point with a nicely timed punch to the jaw.
The second round was a different story though. "Bones" took Machida down and immediately busted him open with one of his patented elbows, and the fight was written from there.
Clearly affected by the cut, Machida wasn't the same, and he was caught by a left hand from Jones which led him into the champion's vice-like guillotine choke.
"The Dragon" chose not to tap, and the referee was forced to pry his unconscious figure off the canvas, a scary sight to see anytime inside the Octagon.
In his third and most recent title defense, Jones faced Rashad Evans in a bout that featured more build up and trash talk than any of his previous affairs.
This fight was largely uneventful, as Jones used his range and superior technical striking to keep Evans on the outside where he could never mount an attack. Jones won easily via unanimous decision, but it was far from the impressiveness of his previous two defenses.
Overall, Silva and Jones both have been utterly dominant in their respective title matchups, but I feel Jones was fighting higher competition on the whole. Names like Rampage, Evans, Machida and Rua are still among the division's elite, whereas Silva's resume consists of some fighters who are now irrelevant and out of the organization.
That said, I cannot fault Silva for taking what the UFC gives him, but the fact remains that he did not finish and show the killer instinct against these lesser foes.
Each fighter has shown a peak of similar magnitude, but Silva's lows have been lower, and for that, I give the edge to Jones.